Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has signed a credit facility agreement of EUR 250 million with the European Investment Bank. The disbursement can be made in any currency that is widely traded on the foreign exchange markets and the credit facility will mature five years after disbursement.
Carl Mellander, Chief Finance Officer of Ericsson, says: “We are very pleased to announce the new funding from the European Investment Bank. It will support our research and development activities for 5G and extend our debt maturity profile.”
5G, the next generation of mobile networks, will evolve to deliver superior mobile broadband services with increased data rates, ultra-low latency, and support for massive amounts of devices. This will open up for new services and create business opportunities, for example in the field of Internet of Things. The first commercial 5G networks are expected to be put in service in 2018 and deployments on a large scale will start 2020. There will be one billion 5G subscriptions by end of 2023 according to Ericsson’s forecasts.
Alexander Stubb, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, says: “The development of 5G technology is easily one of the most important innovation initiatives for the telecom industry in the coming years. Ericsson has been one of the defining contributors to what mobile telephony is today and I think we can only be proud to support this. Apart from supporting European technology, this project will also make sure that thousands of highly-skilled jobs will stay in the EU.”
Ericsson is a strong supporter of open telecom standards and invested SEK 37.9 billion in research and development during 2017. The company holds some 45,000 patents and has more than 23,600 staff working in research and development.